Emmanuel School of Religion

Talking to Victims of Trauma Through the Lens of Atonement Theology

Author
Ron Wymer D.Min.
Abstract
Metaphors concerning atonement theology that are misunderstood, poorly defined, and clumsily communicated often lead to a mischaracterization of God to those who have experienced trauma or abuse. Theological scholars, local church leaders, and pulpit preachers have discussed and debated the correct way to describe Christ’s work of atonement. However, little concern has been shown when communicating atonement theology toward those who have been injured by trauma and abuse. This study aims to provide a platform for the abused to share their stories concerning their spiritual formation through the lens of their experience both with trauma and theological teaching by church leaders. The use of terms trauma and abuse are defined by the participants in the study albeit as broad or narrow as the participant determines by their own definition.

To test this hypothesis, a survey was distributed to the entire congregation of a medium-sized Mid-Western Evangelical congregation concerning their grasp of atonement theological terms as well as their perceived characterization of the God of their understanding, connectedness with others in the congregation, and grasp of theological terms relating to atonement theology. Following a four-week teaching series, a second similar survey was conducted to gauge movement in the areas of study. Additionally, all survey respondents were given the opportunity to privately schedule individual interviews with the researcher to share their insights and experiences with trauma and the church teaching on atonement theology. Church survey responses were scored by numerical averages.

The results showed a significant increase in knowledge of atonement theology and small increases in correcting characterization of God and connectedness with fellow believers in the congregation. The interviews reported a lack of meaningful interaction with most of the subjects instead it was reported creating their own view of God’s care, comfort, and leading through the traumatic experiences.

Freedom for the prisoner: the twelve steps of recovery as a tool for spiritual awakening

Author
David W Snyder
Abstract
In 2010, 77% of inmates in our county jail were incarcerated due to drug and alcohol-related offenses. This project considers how a local church jail ministry team can help address this problem through a weekly recovery-focused Bible study. Serving as chaplain volunteers, a men's team and a women's team entered the jail bringing a focus on Twelve Step Recovery while examining biblical roots of the steps. Inmates report that this approach is effective for learning how to live free of drugs and alcohol upon release, and they show evidence of the spiritual awakening described by the founders of AA.

Apostles, fathers and the margins: an advanced course in biblical hermeneutics at Lanna Christian College, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author
Jerry W Headen
Abstract
Biblical exegesis as practiced in the Western world requires resources often unavailable to the average Christian worker in the Third World. This project was designed to help students in Thailand begin a process of searching for exegetical models useful in their setting, testing a thesis that patristic modes of biblical exegesis may prove helpful. Attention was also given to the adjunct fields of New Testament interpretation of the Old Testament and biblical interpretation in the non-Western world. Results show that potential exists for the use of patristic modes and recommendations are made for future development of the course.

Homer goes to Hollywood: subverting popular media as a discipleship paradigm

Author
Brian R Baldwin
Abstract
Campus ministers want to be effective teachers producing morally competent students in a media-saturated context. This project created a team of students to develop ways to subvert popular media to teach the Gospel as a part of Murray Christian Fellowship's mid-week meeting. VAK modalities in moral development are explored. Scriptural foundations for media subversion are discussed in relation to Job and 1 Corinthians. A transcript of the team curriculum is presented. A small population took a self-assessment survey. Some students reported small increases in retention and focus. Team member interviews showed a change in team members' attitudes toward popular media.

The life cycle of a church: the Evergreen Christian Church story

Author
Tim G Campbell
Abstract
All churches are on a life cycle between birth and death. Churches that choose to die can make a significant impact by investing their resources into Christian colleges, church planting, and mission endeavors. The author experienced this process when he led Evergreen Christian Church to close and distribute their assets to Puget Sound Christian College and the other missions they supported. A workshop was designed to educate struggling churches on the life cycle of a church and to suggest options. A PowerPoint presentation on CD-ROM and a DVD of the workshop are included in the project.

The stewardship of life

Author
Jeffrey McNabb
Abstract
The thesis of this project was to measure attitude change in 27 adult volunteers from three Sunday School classes in the area of financial stewardship. The project sought to answer the question whether intentional instruction from scripture over a nine-week period would increase per capita spending toward the local church with corresponding changes in attitudes toward giving. The method of instruction was to administer a pre-course evaluation followed by nine weeks of instruction, followed by a post-course evaluation. Lessons included: buried treasure, compounding joy, eyes on eternity, living a legacy, etc. The results were an increase in giving over the duration of the course with the local church meeting its budget for the first time since 1984.

The dynamics of interim ministry at Watauga Christian Church

Author
David C Tysinger
Abstract
The author applied the principles of "intentional interim ministry" to a rural congregation while researching the topic of interim ministry. The author, merely a simple interim, concluded that an intentional interim would have been better for the church. Suggestions were made for the use of an intentional interim in both conflicted and healthy churches, even in the non-denominational fellowship of the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, a concept used almost exclusively by denominational fellowships.

Blanchard Church of Christ handbook: a curriculum development and evaluation

Author
Russel John Moldovan
Abstract
The project was a curriculum development and evaluation. Its goal was to create a membership handbook that increased the knowledge of class participants in the areas of church history, Christian doctrine, ministry structure, leadership, purpose and mission statements of the local church. It explained how new Christians practiced their faith, discovered their spiritual gifts and became involved in local church ministry. A Bible orientation discussed the origin, structure, background and interpretation of the Bible. The content of the material was geared toward educated adults. With pre- and post-surveys students demonstrated the handbooks aptitude to accomplish its goals.

BLOC House project: a community center for families

Author
Dwight D Young
Abstract
Thesis of the project: how to help families through being present in the community on a daily basis meeting daily needs. The study was done through qualitative means. Research was accomplished through interviews and community studies. The conclusion of the study was that the need for a safe place that offered help to students after school until the parents or caregivers returned home from the work place--a place that would teach character, tutor, mentor and be a positive place to hang out with their friends. The project gave a positive influence for the community as it opened its doors as a game room and tutoring/mentoring center for students after school. The involvement with parents and the community was also a positive outcome. Relationships were developed and lives changed by spending time and helping in ways that meet the needs of those involved. The study and implication of the BLOC House revealed to the author that communities are crying for someone to spend time with their families and help them live their everyday lives in a way that makes a difference and has purpose. This BLOC House is one avenue that makes that possible as a living gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ministry and scouting: a guide to assist churches in extending their ministry through scouting

Author
David A Soucie
Abstract
This project proposes, prepares, and presents a guide to educate pastors on the value of using Scout programs for male and female youth as an opportunity to reach unchurched people. The project documents a wide range of historic connections and program possibilities for Scout units and churches. Church-based scouting programs offer opportunities for mentoring, developing respectful relationships, and earning the right to be heard by youth members and adult leaders.
Subscribe to Emmanuel School of Religion